By Leslie Cane
Believe it or not, even if many other people know that your spouse is considering a divorce, it tends to come as a bit of a shock to you, at least initially. Why? There are several reasons. First, your spouse rarely lets you in on exactly what he is thinking as it relates to your marriage, particularly when the thoughts are negative. Second, many spouses will try to paint a rosier picture or to soften the blow. And finally, many spouses are just thinking out loud when they talk about your marriage to friends and family. But thinking out loud does not mean that he has made a firm decision.
This sort of beating around the bush leaves you wondering why he won't just come out with it. Why doesn't he just tell you that he wants a divorce? Why make you find out about it from others or from finding evidence somewhere else?
Here is how a wife might put this into words: "It's unbelievable to me that my husband has yet to tell me that he wants a divorce. He has not yet served me with divorce papers. Heck, he hasn't even moved out officially yet. Yes, he spends some nights with his sister, but he lives with me for part of the time also. Now, I knew that we were having problems. He had even started pricing out his own apartment a couple of months ago, but that came to nothing. I knew that things weren't great. But I was so shocked when I saw the wife of one of my husband's partners at the grocery store and she told me that she 'was sorry to hear about my divorce.' I gulped hard, but I didn't let on about how shocked that I was. I just played along. But when I got home, I told my husband about this and he said that he didn't tell his partner that he was definitely getting a divorce. He says that he was just sharing how rough our marriage has been. I find this hard to believe. The partner's wife is a pretty smart gal. I don't believe that she has misunderstood anything. Then I mentioned this to one of my neighbors, who is a good friend, and she indicated that my husband had also confided to her husband that we might be getting a divorce. I confronted my husband about this also and again he said that he has not yet made any decisions. He says that he doesn't know if we are getting a divorce or not. I don't get why he is playing games this way. Why doesn't he just tell me that he wants a divorce? Yes, I will be sad and disappointed. But I would rather he be honest with me than out and out lie. Why won't he just come out with it? If he wants a divorce, why not tell me? Because honestly, I am going to find out about it anyway."
I can certainly suggest some reasons. When I was separated (or when my husband was thinking about divorcing and didn't share this with me for a while,) there were plenty of people who knew more about my husband's feelings toward our marriage than I did. This always angered me a little because I felt that my husband was betraying confidences and it made me feel as if I were the last to know. But you know what? All those little revelations didn't amount to a hill of beans. We never got divorced. And none of it ever came to pass.
And I think that a similar situation might be the biggest reason that your husband is not just asking for a divorce. Either he's not one hundred percent sure that he wants one or he is not yet ready to proceed toward one. And there could be various reasons for this. He could still be open a reconciliation. Or perhaps he is just trying to get his finances in order. Either way, you may have a little time on your side.
If you are still invested in your marriage (or are still interested in saving it,) this can be a big opening. I know that it's frustrating and somewhat humiliating to hear about your marriage from others. But if you truly want a reconciliation, then you have to place your focus in the right place. You have to put all of the things aside that don't really matter in the end. And if you can get your marriage back, then this is not going to matter in five years.
Right now, I would place my focus on the fact that, for whatever reason, he has not yet asked for a divorce or filed for one. Who knows his specific reasoning? He might not even know it himself. The point is, if he truly wanted a divorce right this very second, then he would seek one. He hasn't. For whatever reason, he is holding off. And he hasn't told you about any divorce plans yet, which tells me that he isn't quite sure about his wishes and he still cares enough about you to not come forward with something which may not actually happen.
Either way, all of this means that you may have some time. And sometimes, that is a great starting point for which to try to save your marriage. Many wives don't have that. They've been served with divorce papers and their husband isn't shy about telling them that divorce is one hundred percent what he wants.
I know that when you feel as if your marriage is hanging in the balance, you can just want a definitive answer. But when the answer is divorce, you are better off waiting - if that means that one day you might ultimately have a chance to save your marriage. I never pushed my husband for "an answer" about the divorce. Because I was afraid I knew what the answer was going to be. So I waited. And I believe that this is why I am still married today. You can read more about that on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com